WFH: A Nightmare for IT Security

By Alexander Gounares

With a high percentage of the population now working from home, IT security has become a nightmare for many CISOs, CTOs, and CIOs. If you’re not able to get into your workplace or datacenter, patching of systems will just have to wait. And even if key workers could get into the office, they’re so caught up with the new challenge of enabling thousands of mobile workers, daily tasks such as patching are falling behind causing added stress to those responsible for keeping systems up to date and secure.

Unfortunately, though that’s just what hackers are counting on. With no regard for all the amazing people who are working night and day to stop this thing, every day there’s another hack attempt on these very organizations. In the appropriate words of Shaun Nichols, of The Register, 23?Mar?2020: “As happens every time there is a major news event, scumbags exploit the public’s interest to spread malware. This time, criminals have picked on the World Health Organization’s handling of the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.’. And that’s not the only one. The latest update from Sans.org cited several attacks including one on a hospital in France.

“We need a security solution that is fast and simple to install, quick to get up and running – and once it’s up and running, we don’t want to have to manage it”, a CISO from a big pharmacy chain told us earlier this week.

So, what sort of cybersecurity solution can meet all those needs? It does sound like pipedream.

Well, Polymorphism. Originally no more than an academic dream, Polymorphing your OS is now possible.

Polymorphing involves running the OS through a polymorphic compiler to scramble the source code during deployment. The result is that each polymorphed OS shares the original source code, but benefits from unique binaries, function locations, CPU registers, and memory layouts. Adding even more protection, it recompiles every 24 hours and automatically pushes patches during the recompile process.

This makes it fiendishly difficult for hackers to crack into. It is also lightweight, flexible, and can be deployed in under 10 minutes. Just like slipping into a bulletproof vest.

Speaking to the Director of DevOps for one of the largest online service providers, he sounded pretty cool about the new ‘working from home’ situation and its effect on his security practices,?“it’s not as big a problem as it may have been.?With Polymorphing for Linux, the additional layer of protection means we don’t need to drop everything to install security patches. We’ve adopted a standard cadence for patching, in support of our other security monitoring and detection measures. At a time when more of us are working from home, this helps us keep systems protected without interrupting other projects. And moving to that stable cadence for patching has given us a 30 to 40 percent benefit in terms of optimization and efficiency around our workflows. Ultimately, Polyverse enables us to focus less on continuous maintenance and more on forward-facing, innovative projects that add business value.”

When you’re in a warzone, whatever other defensive measures you have in place, it makes sense to be wearing some body armor.  The same holds true when it comes to the cybersecurity battle. Polyverse has developed the ideal “bulletproof vest” for your Linux operating system, making your systems impervious to all zero-day memory assaults (including memory overflows), as well as helping mitigate the patch gap nightmare by stopping attacks before they start.

In these challenging times, it’s clear there needs to be another approach to cybersecurity to ensure that you’re still protected. There’s simply too much at stake and the risks are too high.

Polymorphing your OS makes perfect sense as the first line of your defensive measures for your critical information and systems. If you’re an organization on the frontline, please contact us. We’d like to help.

Be Aware: read our Polymorphing Whitepaper now.

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